New Opportunities within the Dark Days of COVID-19

GFRAS-YPARD Competition “Coping with COVID-19: Stories from the Field”

This story won the 1st Place in the Youth Category in Malawi

By Joseph Gondwe

CHEMA world is a livestock production company that raises “naturally raised” pigs, chickens and goats. Naturally raised means that there are raised without addition of hormones, antibiotics or animal feeds for an improved health. The business operates in Kasungu, Malawi and its vision is to become the main supplier of naturally livestock and livestock products in the region. The company has been performing smoothly since its inception in 2017. For the past years the main product of the business has been porkers (8 to 12 months old pigs) sold to off-takers linked to upermarkets, whose main goal was profit maximization. They valued quality lean meat which they sold to higher income earners.
The business was realizing profits until COVID-19 came. It started with a call from one of my customers “Joe, things are not working.” That statement made my muscles lose the energy and my lungs relaxed the breath. “I don’t know how to say this, but you know, this corona pandemic has affected my business. I just said “Okay” in my melancholy.